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Online Review Response Dos and Don’ts

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Businesses have to be responsive to online reviews. Some of them are positive, and others are negative. Responding to both is necessary. For people who left positive reviews, they deserve a simple thank you. They went out of their way to say something good. However, for those who left a negative review, the business should have an immediate response. Whether it’s to acknowledge the problem or set the right narrative, a response would be necessary. It’s important to remember that regardless of the response, it will be on behalf of the company. Therefore, there are dos and don’ts to follow. If not, getting the best review response service from experts would be helpful.

Do: Be timely

As soon as the positive and negative reviews got spotted, there should be an immediate response. Don’t wait for several weeks to respond. Some of them are even time-sensitive. There are concerns from existing customers that they expressed through the reviews. Hence, they need to get an answer as soon as possible. It also shows that the business is attentive to the needs of the customers. Even if the solution to the problem doesn’t happen right away, a timely response to the review would be an excellent start.

Don’t: Being defensive

It’s natural for businesses to be defensive if the reviews were negative. If the accusations were incorrect or unfounded, it could be frustrating. However, it’s important to remember that the response should be professional and diplomatic. There’s no point in being defensive. These are reviews from customers based on their experience in using the products and services. They have the right to say whatever they want. The business can either acknowledge the mistake and apologize or ask for more information.

Do: Continue the conversation in private

While it’s good to respond to the reviews, not everything should be publicly available. The next part of the conversation can happen privately. Invite the person who did the review to discuss via private channels like emails or phone calls. It would be easier to respond to the concerns and avoid dragging other people into the conversation.

Don’t: Use offensive language 

Again, it’s natural to be angry if there are incorrect accusations. Some business owners spent years building the company. They don’t want anyone to say something bad and destroy the business in a snap. Despite the level of anger and frustration, it’s a big no to use offensive language. These customers deserve respect even if they didn’t give it in the first place. Instead of giving a negative reaction, it would be great to provide solutions to the problem.

Do: Consider compensating the customer

If the reviews pointed to a specific problem or failure from the company, there should be a consideration before giving compensation. It could be a discount for a future transaction or free shipment of the next order. Again, it’s not only for the person who felt terrible because of the transaction, but the other customers read the exchange. They need to know that the business cares, and the best interest of the customers would always be a priority.

Don’t: Blame the customer 

Some issues happen because of problems related to the customers. They might not know how to use the products or they ordered the wrong item. It’s not fair for them to blame the business for a mistake they committed. However, it’s inappropriate for the business to blame them. Instead of blaming them, there should be a suggestion on what to do next for future transactions. If there is a page that can guide them to have a smoother transaction in the future, they should receive the link.

Do: Leave links 

Some customers leave reviews in third-party applications. Use it as an opportunity to continue promoting the website. If there are relevant links for people to read, they can be a part of the response. If the business has new offerings and discounts, it would also help to have the link on the response. It increases online visibility, and it’s a part of the link building strategy.

Don’t: Inject unnecessary humor

There’s nothing wrong and being funny as a response to the customer if done right. Some businesses use this strategy when responding to comments on social media pages. It’s a way of attracting attention and making people feel comfortable interacting on the page. However, there are types of jokes that aren’t funny and could be inappropriate. Again, the response is on behalf of the company, and these jokes might not sit well with the readers.

Don’t: Argue about anything

There’s really no point in arguing with customers. It sounds unprofessional, and it will harm the company’s reputation. Instead of arguing with them, the best solution is to offer them solutions. If the company can provide the answers, it would be great. They need to feel that they can still trust the business despite a terrible experience in the past. Also, arguing with them might not sound well to the other readers. They will think that the business doesn’t even acknowledge mistakes and will pass on the blame to the customers. Even if the response isn’t satisfactory for these customers, it’s still better than arguing with them.

Do: Proofread the response

Like any content posted online, it’s important to proofread the response first. Go through the answers first before hitting the publish button. Otherwise, there could be mistakes that might harm the relationship between the company and the customers. Even spelling and grammar issues could still be a big problem. It’s important to avoid them and proofreading would help a lot.

Do: Ask for help 

Asking for help is important since there are experts who know how to deal with customer reviews. They work with other online marketing strategies, and review response service is one of them. Sometimes, responding to every review can be time-consuming and exhausting. There are too many rules to follow, and it might be easy to forget them. The response will then be a result of an immediate reaction, and it won’t look good. Therefore, asking for help from experts would be an excellent idea.

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Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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